The Gustavus gymnastics team suffered a narrow 173.873-173.000 loss to UW-Eau Claire on Thursday night in the Lund Center Forum on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College. Gustavus’s Danielle Thibodeau took first place in the all-around competition with a score of 35.700, as teammate Kelly Mathewson finished behind her in second place with a score of 35.225. Thibodeau took first on the uneven parallel bars with a mark of 8.775, as UW-Eau Claire’s Danielle Schulzetenberg was the top Blugold performer with wins on the balance beam (9.300) and floor exercise (9.225), and a third place finish in the all-around (35.050).
As the final score would indicate, the meet was tightly contested from start to finish. After the vault/bars rotation, UW-Eau Claire held a slight advantage over the Gusties 86.550-85.925. Gustavus registered individual event scores of 44.825 on the vault and 41.100 on the bars, while UW-Eau Claire scored a 45.650 on the vault and a 40.900 on the bars. UW-Eau Claire held on to the lead in the final two events, scoring a 43.725 on the beam and a 43.600 on the floor. Gustavus recorded a 42.775 on the beam and a 44.300 on the floor.
The Blugolds filled the top three spots of the vault, as Sarah Hulbert took first (9.425), Cece Solem placed second (9.375), and Molly Senske finished third (9.175). Thibodeau finished in third place on the balance beam (8.975), as UW-Eau Claire’s Solem took second (9.100). Kelly Mathewson finished in the top five in all four events, as she now averages a 35.140 in the all-around this season. Gustavus’s Sam Opsahl also had a strong performance with a second place finish on the floor with a mark of 9.050, while taking fourth on the vault with a 9.100.
The Gustavus gymnastics team will be in action tomorrow night, as the Gusties will travel to La Crosse, Wisc. to take on UW-La Crosse and Winona State University in a triangular beginning at 6:30 pm.